So... I've posted a bit on here when I can, but I thought it would probably be worth while starting a log to share my current approach, previous learnings, thoughts and also look for a little encouragement when needed.
I've been bodybuilding for a number of years now, perhaps 8-9. I'm 31 and starting to feel it. I know this forum has a number of juniors on it so perhaps I can pass on some wisdom from my twenties, who knows!
I've worked with a number of coaches over the years from Chris Tuttle, Jordan Peters, Patrick Tuor and more recently, Tyler Cooke. I can take something different from each of those coaches, the good and the bad. The one thing that stands out though? Coach-ability! If you aren't coach-able, it doesn't matter how good or how expensive the coach is... the results won't be maximal. I say this from experience, as I know I am not as coach-able as I should be.
That's primarily why I decided to take a short period coaching myself and creating an improved mentality. My intention is to work with AJ (if he takes me lol). Why AJ? Mentality. Commitment. Drive. My weakest areas in bodybuilding.
Other aspects of life, these factors aren't an issue. I'm relatively successful in terms of career; I ran and sold a business in my earlier years, spent some time in industry and now run a software business. I think there's alot of crossover between personal life, career and bodybuilding, especially in terms of discipline.
I bodybuild because I love the challenge. Nothing in life challenges me as consistently as this does... and believe me... I've had my fair share! I suffer from Crohn's Disease which is a real bum rap when it comes to bodybuilding. Not so bad when dieting, but a pain the arse (pun entirely intended) in the off-season.
Any way, personal rhetoric aside, here is where I am at for the start of this log;
Age - 31
Height - 5ft/7 (168cm)
Weight - 167.6 (little flat)
Pictures (next post)
Current training split;
Monday - off
Tuesday - Chest and Biceps
Wendesday - Hamstrings and Calves
Thursday - Shoulders and Triceps
Friday - Off
Saturday - Back
Sunday - Quads and Calves
Abs thrown in 2-3 times per week.
I train at home and have a fairly substantial home gym. I will post some images at some point, but its fully kitted out; precor leg press, primal smith, primal hack / v squat, plamax leg extension / seated ham curl combo, dual cable machine, life fitness seated row / pulldown machine, seated calve raise, dumbbells up to 60kg, plenty of bars etc, Stairmaster Stepmill, Treadmill and Spinbike. Some other bits not currently in use too.
I've just completed 6 weeks of dieting and am currently reversing out, looking to add a touch more lean tissue whilst maintaining relative condition so I can be closer to stage weight. The aim is to compete again this year, having taken a small break due to health issues (Crohn's).
Training Days - 2600~ calories, 280p 250c 50f
Rest Days - 1650 calories - 250p, 50c, 50f
NB* - This is the diet as of the last week of dieting. I have not changed my training day diet throughout the diet phase, but I have consistently lowered the rest day calories and increased cardio on that day.
My calories prior to this were around 4250 on training days (325p, 600c, 60f) and 2900 on rest days (300p, 150c, 120f).
Current cardio split is;
Training days - 90 minutes, split 45 mins AM / PM
Rest Days - 1 hour PM
The goals was to get as lean as quickly as possible. I came down from 181lbs to my current weight over this period. All lifts maintained, last week felt pretty fatigued but that is expected. Some of the weight loss was water, perhaps 3-4lbs. I do not believe I have lost any tissue.
Final point to add - I am 'assisted'. For the purpose of this log I will not touch too much on this. I do not feel the audience warrants it. What I will say is, drugs do not make the physique. If the diet, training and rest are not there, the drugs really won't do much. For context, I have used 500mg total during this diet phase. This log will focus on what is important.
Little update, weight seems to have stabalised now with the reduction in cardio and higher food. Currently eating;
300p 400c 45f
300p 150c 80f
Food will go up again tomorrow depending on performance and how I look. I believe I am still dropping fat slightly, primarily from the mirror but also from what appears to be more subq water (additional carbs and cortisol) and a stable weight.
So this morning was legs, quad dominant.
Seated hamstring curl
1x 17 (same weight as first set, aiming to match reps)
1x 20 (reduced weight)
Adductors in Cables
2x 10 reps (hitting failure).
Smith machine squats, feet forwards, SST
1 straight set of 8-10
1x 8-10, 10s rest, max reps 6s negative
1x 8-10, 10s rest, max reps 6s concentric
Primal hack squat
Fell short on rep range on both sets, but hit total failure
3x 10 reps
Single leg, leg press, feet low, 3011 tempo
1x 12-15 reps
Seated calve raise
4 sets of 15-20 reps
Had an off off plan meal last night, Indian food. Stuck to tandoor chicken, plain rice and naan. Low fat, higher carb. This morning was 1lb up over yesterday’s big drop. Holding some water which i would expect following that meal.
The result of a good nights sleep plus eztra calories resulted in great intensity this morning. My heart rate was back to hitting mid 160s during training which I haven’t seen for at least 4 weeks which is a good sign.
In terms of sleep, after alot of trail and error over time, I now stick to the following for a good nights rest;
1) Don’t eat too much too close to bed (last meal last night was 18:00 although a cheat meal).
2) Put phone down at least 60 mins before bed
3) Sit in a dimly lit room at least 90 mins before bed
4) Keep the room cool; windows open all year (other half loves that one, with her being from Iran 😂)
1) Valarian root extract
5-HTP and melatonin just seem to result in a bad nights sleep for me.
Couple more bits of equipment;
So small update this morning, 2lb drop which was unexpected. I rested heavily after training yesterday, literally stayed off my feet. So although I intended to bring calories up by a set amount in the form of carbs today, I May re-evaluate that increase tomorrow, based on today’s performance and tomorrow’s weight, in favour of a bigger increase.
amazing kit bro, complemented by a incredible physique as well! looking great mate!
For anyone interested, here is some of the equipment in my gym;
So an update on the last few days;
Wednesday was hamstrings and calves, Thursday rest with PM cardio and today... Push.
Im now going to reduce my volume And increase my frequency as calories come back up. Will also be tapering cardio some more. Tomorrow is the beginning of another weeks rotation so calories will be coming up by 100 and cardio down by 10 minutes.
Hamstrings and calves went like this;
seated hamstring curl
3x20 reps to get blood into the muscle
4 sets of 8 reps with 3 minutes between sets
Lying hamstring curl
4 sets of 10 reps
safety bar squats
3 sets of 10 reps
single leg leg press, feet high
2 sets per leg of 15 reps
seated calve raise, SST
10 seconds between sets
5 reps 6s negetive
5 reps 6s positive
1 isometric hold, max effort
25 mins PWO cardio
I needed the rest day following this as my posterior chain was fried.
Today was a Push routine as I look to move back to a growth phase. I haven’t finalised my training split or rotation yet so it was a little free, but went like this;
5 sets of 6-8
behind the neck press superset with front to side raises
3 sets of 10 superset with sets of 12
decline Smith press, SST
2 sets of 10 reps, 10s rest, reduce weight by 30%, max reps 6s negative
cable flies, maximum contraction looking to shorten the muscle as much as possible
2 sets of 20 reps
rear delt cable flies
2 sets of 8
reverse grip smith press (triceps)
3 sets of 8 reps
rope push downs
3 sets, 10 reps, 15 reps, 20 reps
1 and 3/4 DC style standing rope crunches
2 sets of 12 reaching failure
25 mins PWO cardio
A 5-6lbs push in total bodyweight? Looking at your pictures you are lean! 5 to 6lbs will still see you being lean, do you think that's ideal for muscle growth and strength progression in the gym?
First of all I'm very jealous of your home gym!
Interesting to see that you train with higher reps than the typical person on this site, do you find you respond better to them?
Can you provide a link to the safety bar handles on the smith squat? I assume you attach them on/off the smith bar? Would love one of these since shoulder mobility doesn't allow me to squat comfortably!
Looking good, especially in front and side shots!
How much do you intend to push up in terms of bodyweight during this phase?
So had a pretty good quad dominant leg session. Still felt a little heavy in the lower body so keeping carbs high again today with no PM cardio.
Workout went like this;
Seated hamstring curl - SST (12 reps 1130 tempo followed by max reps 6s negative)
1x12 + 6 reps
1x12 + 5 reps
adductors on Cables, 20 rep sets working up the stack until less than 20 reps is achieved (priming legs for squats)
Smith squats with safety bar handles, 4 sets 3111 tempo (starting with descent)
leg extensions superset with leg press, 10 reps followed by 15 reps with 1130 and 5011 tempo (5s negative on leg press). You can’t go heavy here. 4 sets, no change in weight (45.4kg and 100kg)
1x12 + 15 reps
1x10 + 15 reps
1x10 + 15 reps
1x10 + 12 reps (failure)
Narrow Stance Smith squats, 4 sets 30s rest between sets. Just reps here for maximal bloodflow, 72.5kg
Seated calves raise, 3 sets, aiming for 12 reps in first set and maintaining weight. Only increase weight when you achieve 12 reps on the third set. 1233 tempo, 3s stretch at bottom of rep
Main focus in these sessions is maximal tension and connection with the muscles. I stopped chasing the weights a while back as my legs were poo. Since then I’ve seen good gains, especially in hamstrings which still need a boat load more size
This mornings pictures following a refeed yesterday. Up 2lbs on scale but still under weekly average. Legs shortly so will be a good gauge of whether I took in enough carbs.
So yesterday was Shoulders and Triceps. I was feeling particularly tired and really just went through the motions. I would rate it a 2/5 work out. Presses just weren’t there.
Afterwards my legs felt heavy and I felt super sleepy. I took this as a sign that I need to pull back. So I skipped PM cardio, stayed seated all day and stuck mostly to protein based meals (easy to digest) every 1.5-2 hours. I added carbs into my last meal only and got an early night.
I ended up sleeping in this morning until 07:30 which is 3 hours beyond where I normally get up... so that’s good.
This morning I felt better but still a touch tired. Again I will skip PM cardio and today I will refeed carbs.
I also noted a 2lb drop on the scale over a consistent weight the last 6 days. So again all solid indicators to pull back and feed up.
Tomorrow mornings pictures should help me assess whether I need to refer again and perhaps take total rest for a day.
So, todays training; Hamstrings and Calves @ 05:00. I get up at 04:00 every day, spend my first hour in the loo and then train from 05:00. During this phase training is taking longer due to cardio.
15 mins warm up on Bike until HR hits 135.
I rotate my sessions on a 4 week cycle, so rep ranges change but exercise selection does not.
Seated Hamstring Curl - 3 SST sets, aiming for 12 reps followed by max reps with a 6s negative
15x 59kg + 5x 40.8kg
12x 59kg + 6x 36.3kg
12x59kg + 5x 36.3kg
RDLs - 20 reps
30kg x 20reps
30kg x 19reps
30kg x 18reps
Lying Hamstring Curl - 8-10 reps
20kg x 8 reps
20kg x 7 reps
15kg x 8 reps
10kg x 12 reps (too light)
Deadlift, no touching the floor - 20 reps with 3231 tempo (concentric, peak contraction, eccentric, stretch)
62.5kg x 20
62.5kg x 20
These are alot harder than they appear. The weight is so light but the set lasts over 3 minutes.
Single leg, leg press, foot high - 12 reps, alternate legs, no rest
Leg press Calve raise - 15 rep sets with 1231 tempo
145kg x 16 reps
145kg x 14 reps
130kg x 10 reps (calves just gave in here)
30 minutes PWO cardio on stair master.
PM cardio later on this evening + youtube + candy crush = ultimate time flying combo (like level 3400 on candy crush from this lol)